Journalists protest outside courthouse: “You cannot silence the free press”

Journalists made a statement in front of Diyarbakır Courthouse to express their solidarity with 20 colleagues who were referred to court after 8 days in detention.

The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) and the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform (MKGP) made a statement in front of Diyarbakır Courthouse in solidarity with 22 people, 20 of them being journalists, who were detained in the city 8 days ago and referred to the prosecutor’s office today to give their statements.

Colleagues of the detained journalists, families, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and political parties participated in the event, displaying a banner that read "You Can't Silence Us".

Xwebûn Newspaper publisher Kadri Esen and DFG Co-Chair Dicle Müftüoğlu made speeches during the event and vowed that the free press would never submit. They demanded the immediate release of the detained journalists.


Kadri Esen pointed out that the purpose of the detentions could also be evaluated as an attack on the Kurdish language, saying, “They want us to conceal what happens from the world public, which we refuse to do. We will continue reporting on what is happening in Kurdistan for the public. The Kurdish press is wanted silenced through these operations.”


Speaking after, DFG Co-Chair Müftüoğlu said, "Our friends are targeted because they do their job and report the truth to the public. This is why their houses and workplaces were raided. The police siege on production companies, ongoing for 8 days under the guise of a search, reveals why our friends have been detained."

Müftüoğlu continued, “These operations aim to threaten journalists that they will be criminalized and turned into a target if they convey the facts to the public. Yet, the free press, which could not be silenced by bombings, disappearances in custody and massacres in the past, will not be silenced today either.”


Müftüoğlu called for expansion of solidarity with the detained journalists.